I just returned from a 17-day trip to Tanzania and Malawi. Thanks to everyone who prayed for me. I never got sick and I only had one freak-out moment due to some spiritual warfare. I traveled by air and ferry boat, and in numerous vans—including an 8-hour drive on a dangerous road after dark. I preached 16 times in five cities, dedicated two new women’s centers and saw many others saved and filled with the Holy Spirit.
I want to introduce you to Sarah (below), one of the young women enrolled in our Mordecai Project empowerment program in Mzuzu, Malawi. Like many girls in her country, she got married very early. She was only 15. Life was very hard for her, but she ended up giving her life to Jesus. Today she’s being discipled by Charity Mkamanga, the director of our new women’s empowerment center. Sarah went to our tailoring classes and learned to make clothes. She began selling them, and now she makes enough money to put her kids through school. And recently someone saw her outfits and placed an order for ten! She is well on her way to building a successful business. Testimonies like Sarah’s motivate me to keep doing what I do!
Lucia, the girl in the photo below, is from Lilongwe, Malawi. She’s 31, and she’s faced many challenges in life including a disability. As a child she developed a problem with her right foot. But she found Jesus a few years ago, and then she came to our Mordecai Project empowerment program directed by Rev. Fanny Injaidi. Lucia enrolled in our tailoring classes and learned to sew using a foot-powered sewing machine, in spite of her physical challenges. Today she’s making many outfits and she serves as one of our tailoring instructors. Her passion is to help other young women overcome poverty by starting small businesses. I wanted you to meet some of the women who are being impacted by our work in Africa.
My first stop on this trip was Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Tanzania that was once the hub of the global slave trade. There I worked alongside a young missionary named Ben Patton, who serves with Overland Missions. Ben and his wife, Kelsi, are only 27, but they have surrendered their lives to reach a difficult region dominated by Islam. Ben and Kelsi are raising up new missionaries, starting new churches, winning people to Jesus and discipling them. And they lead with such humility. I was joined on this trip by my good friend Berrings Mlambya, bishop of the Pentecostal Holiness Church in Tanzania. You can see me with Berrings and Ben in the photo below.
While in Zanzibar I ministered at a special meeting for women trapped in prostitution. An Overland missionary named Lena Wadsworth started this outreach many months ago. Many sex workers have been saved, and they are now walking with Jesus and finding healing from the past. I brought a message from Luke 13 about how God sees us even when others have abandoned us. There were seven salvations and so much emotional healing. Below you can see the women who came that day. (The guys on the front row are part of the Overland team.) A few months ago, The Mordecai Project purchased eyeglasses for many of these women because they have vision problems and can’t read their Bibles. Now they are studying the Word and growing each week in discipleship classes. We hope to send Lena more funds so she can rent a bigger venue for the meetings.
I met this woman below, Paulina, when I trained the Zanzibar team. She is part of the nomadic Masai tribe from Tanzania and Kenya. After I taught on the different ways women suffer from abuse and marginalization globally, Paulina came to talk to me about how Masai women are oppressed—through denial of education, physical violence, and cruel disrespect. Many underage girls—some as young as 13—are forced to marry much older men. Paulina was going to be forced into such a a marriage. But she found Jesus, and she told her father she could not enter a marriage like that. Today, she is being trained to take the gospel to her people.
It was a joy to serve with the Overland team. I trained them for a full day in relational discipleship and in how to heal the abused. The team includes local Tanzanians, some Americans and a young Russian man, Alex, who grew up in Germany. He’s only 31 but he is planting churches in a remote area of northern Tanzania. It is so exciting to see the next generation taking the reins of leadership.
After Zanzibar, Bishop Berrings and I traveled to Iringa, Tanzania, to do a two-day women’s conference. It was amazing! So much healing was released. Some women got saved—then about 30 of them were filled with the Holy Spirit in what seemed like a divine power surge. We had women from many different churches including Pentecostal, Anglican, Lutheran, Catholic and many others. There were even seven Muslim women who came out of curiosity, and although they stayed in the back of the auditorium I know seeds were sown in their lives.
After Iringa we traveled to Mbeya, Tanzania, where we hosted another women’s conference and also officially dedicated the Shalom Shelter, which is The Mordecai Project’s safe haven for trafficking victims. Sadly, many women and girls from the Mbeya region are lured by evil people to take jobs as maids in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. But when they arrive the women are forced into unwanted marriages or prostitution. Some are even taken as slaves to Oman or Saudi Arabia, where some of them disappear. Our shelter will provide safety, counseling, discipleship and vocational training for women who have been abused or who struggle from lack of education. Below you can see Berrings and Grace Mlambya with me as we dedicated the shelter.
We installed the plaque below at the Shalom Shelter to honor Robert Roberson, a businessman from Raleigh, North Carolina, who gave us the majority of the funds to purchase the house in Mbeya. We still need about $6,000 to put the final touches on the building, and to purchase furniture. Women are waiting now to move in and enroll in classes. If you or your church can help us, please designate your donation to Tanzania.
In Something supernatural happened while I was in the conference in Mbeya. After I preached on the daughters’ inheritance from Numbers 27, I reminded everyone about how much women suffer in Africa—because of domestic violence, denial of education, economic discrimination, gang rape, genital mutilation, and other forms of abuse. Then I asked the men who were willing to come and kneel in front and repent before God for the pain men have inflicted on women in Tanzania (see below). As soon as the men knelt, the women began to sob. Some were heaving uncontrollably as the Holy Spirit began to heal their hearts. Then I invited the women to come to the front and the brothers prayed for them. It was an unforgettable moment. If only this could be repeated all over Africa! On the next day of the conference, about 40 people were filled with the Holy Spirit.
After the Mbeya meetings, Berrings took us to the border of Malawi and I began the next phase of the trip in that country with my friend Tony Mkamanga. He and his wife, Charity, are the directors of The Mordecai Project in their city. The day after we arrived in Mzuzu we officially dedicated Naomi’s House, our women’s empowerment center designed to train underprivileged women in specific skills. Below you can see Tony and Charity with the first group of women enrolled in classes there. They will be learning tailoring, baking, hairstyling and chicken farming, and they will also receive daily discipleship. The facility is beautiful! It can house 16 women, plus it has a large training room and kitchen.
Below you can see Tony and Charity in front of the new shelter in Mzuzu. It is called Naomi’s House to honor my friend Naomi Dowdy, who gave the funds to build it. Naomi is the former pastor of 9,000-member Trinity Church in Singapore. She has been a huge encouragement in my life, and when she heard about our plans in Mzuzu she immediately gave the funds. At the dedication ceremony we even had three tribal chiefs in attendance! We still need about $5,000 for furnishings, floor tiles, and additional sewing machines. If you can help us, please designate your gift for “Mzuzu, Malawi” on our website.
I’m so grateful that my friend Udjasiri Wakahasha could join me on this trip. He traveled four days on buses from the Democratic Republic of Congo to reach me in Iringa. Udjasiri and his wife, Josephine, direct The Mordecai Project in the city of Goma. He is the pastor of His Church Goma, where I ministered last year. Udjasiri has had a challenging life. His father had 11 wives and 65 children, and so Udjasiri didn’t get much love from his dad. But he eventually found Jesus and he is a humble and compassionate leader. He was so encouraged to see the shelter in Mbeya. We plan to raise the funds to build a school next to his church so women can have a place to train their children.
After the Mzuzu meetings I traveled to my last stop—Lilongwe, Malawi. All the women in the photo below completed a six-month tailoring course sponsored by The Mordecai Project. They worked hard and shared sewing machines to create clothes for women and children as well as purses and tote bags. At our women’s conference there, the women cheered yesterday when we announced that we are buying a plot of land and building a women’s empowerment center in Lilongwe! I want to offer special thanks to our director, Rev. Fanny Injaidi and her husband Rev. David Injaidi, shown on the right of the photo below. They are pastors of Tiwale Abba Springs Church. Fanny has held on to this dream for many years and it is now becoming a reality.
In Malawi, many children don’t attend school because their parents can’t afford the minimal fees required for public education. (Fees are usually $150 a year.) Girls are more likely to drop out of school because their parents assume that they can just learn to cook and take care of babies. This is why we decided to help cover school fees for a group of 20 girls who attended the Lilongwe conference. You can see some of them below. This investment in girls’ education is helping to break the cycle of poverty in Malawi!
Below you can see Melody, a 16-year-old from Lilongwe. She’s had to drop out of school three times because her parents couldn’t afford school fees. So many girls like her end up in prostitution, or they might be trafficked to Zanzibar. Others decide to marry as early to escape poverty, but that doesn’t solve the problems they face. This is why The Mordecai Project exists. Thank you for helping girls like Melody. And please help us reach more like her!
As you pray for us, please agree that the Lord will release more funds so we can complete all our existing projects. We saw some financial miracles last month, when some donors gave us a total of $70,000. God is helping us! But the needs are increasing and we need a miracle of provision. We need $5,000 soon to purchase a plot of ground in Lilongwe, Malawi, for our women’s center there, and then we will need about $25,000 for construction. Please consider involving your business or asking your church to add us to their missions budget. And please pray for my schedule in August, which will include a much-needed vacation: ** August 10-13 / Grace Church, Erie, Pennsylvania (men’s conference and Sunday services). ** August 19 / Women’s Conference, Baxley, Georgia Thank you again for standing with us. We love you and we are so grateful for your faithful support and prayers.
The Mordecai Project is a Christian ministry devoted to empowering women, confronting abuse and transforming nations through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
All gifts are tax-deductible. Secure online donations can be made at our website themordecaiproject.org/donate
Checks can be made out to The Mordecai Project and mailed to:
The Mordecai Project / Bold Venture Ministries
P.O. Box 2781
LaGrange, GA 30241:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Rev. Matt Judd
Good News Church
Pickens, South Carolina
Rev. Luis Roig
Casa del Padre
Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico
Rev. Eddie Taylor
Rev. Beth Taylor
Taylor Ministry Group
Re. James Graham
International Gospel Outreach
Rev. Dee Mueller
The Hearth Ministries